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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Monday 23 April 2018

Hove Author Brian Anderson Writes A Forgotten History Of The Fight For Homosexual Rights In England

"The issue of homosexuality is very topical at the moment and this is an innovative work. This book records a largely forgotten history and biography of two key figures in the fight against sexual discrimination," says Hove resident Brian Anderson of his new book. 

'The Fraternity of the Estranged: The Fight for Homosexual Rights in England, 1891-1908' centres on the aftermath of a law, originally passed in 1885 - and remaining in place for eighty-two years - that had made homosexual relations a crime.

But during this time, restrictions on same-sex relationships did not go unchallenged. Between 1891 and 1908, three books on the nature of homosexuality appeared. 

They were written by two homosexual men: Edward Carpenter and John Addington Symonds, and a third, Havelock Ellis

At this time, the study of homosexuality was limited almost exclusively to the European continent.

Gay rights: Britain's Changing Attitudes

Books that were circulated freely in Europe were hardly known in England, and men who loved men were pushed to the margins in a society where masculinity was strenuously upheld. 

Carpenter and Symonds' story and their brave stance against persecution is largely forgotten, but in such a hostile environment, their publications were highly significant. 

They were the first English contributions to the scientific understanding of homosexuality, and, more importantly, opened the long struggle for the legal recognition of same-sex love that was finally achieved in 1967.

"Although this book is necessarily scholarly in parts and resonates with contemporary academic research, it is intended to speak principally to the LGBT community, and in a time more accepting of sexual diversity, to a wider readership," concludes Dr. Anderson.

Brian Anderson has held teaching and management posts in higher education. He has a doctorate in intellectual history from the University of Oxford. He lives in Hove, East Sussex.

Brian Anderson's 'The Fraternity of the Estranged: The Fight for Homosexual Rights in England, 1891-1908' is published on 28th April 2018.

by: Mike Cobley




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